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TAPSA: The Dawning of the Persian Age: Occult Iranophilia in Akbar’s Hindustan

January 26, 2023-5pm

Foster Hall 103

Shaahin Pishbin, PhD Student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 

Akbar’s reign (1556-1605) as Mughal emperor has always been notable for his massive sponsorship of Persian letters and Iranian intellectuals. This paper considers what was at stake in the decision to use Persian as the language of empire through examining the linguistic claims of three groups of Iranian migrants courted by Akbar: dictionary writers, Nuqṭavīs, and Āẕarīs. From their writings, I argue, a clear picture emerges of the hold occult ideas about a new “Persian age” had on Akbar’s millenarian project.